Dallas Cowboys

Report says Tony Romo may prefer release in off-season rather than a trade

Tony Romo and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watch a UIL Class 5A Division I state championship football game between Highland Park and Temple, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Jones’ grandson John Stephen Jones is the starting quarterback for Highland Park, which won the title 16-7.
Tony Romo and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watch a UIL Class 5A Division I state championship football game between Highland Park and Temple, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Jones’ grandson John Stephen Jones is the starting quarterback for Highland Park, which won the title 16-7. AP

Quarterback Tony Romo may prefer to be released by the Dallas Cowboys in the off-season rather than be traded, ProFootballTalk.com reported Saturday night, citing a source.

From the report posted by Mike Florio:

“As one source with knowledge of the situation recently explained it, Romo may be inclined to request a release in lieu of a trade. This would maximize his options and, in turn, ensure that his new team won’t be diluting its roster by giving up draft picks and/or players.”

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who has started every game in the Cowboys’ 11-2 season, is expected to be the Dallas starter for 2017.

Cutting Romo evidently helps the Cowboys’ salary-cap situation for 2017, as CBSsports.com explains:

“If the Cowboys elected to make him a post-June 1 cut, it would even benefit them in that he’d only count against their books for $12.7 million, as opposed to $19.6 million if he’s traded or released outright, and $24.7 million if he remains on the roster. (They’d be charged the remaining $6.9 million in 2018.)”

CBSsports.com, however, asks, are the Cowboys really going to let Romo leave without trade compensation in the form of a draft pick(s) to save $5 million to $12 million in cap space? Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been beating the drum on radio airwaves, stoking the Romo trade value, letting us know that Romo looks great in practice.

CBSsports.com’s Jason La Canfora, in a video report, notes that Sam Bradford went from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings for a first- and fourth-round pick, and given the shaky draft/free agent quarterback market, getting something “of note” for Romo seems plausible.

La Canfora: “I know people close to Romo who tell me it’s just as likely he gets back on the field at some point this year and maybe he restructures his contract to stay. This is very much a fluid situation. If Dak Prescott doesn’t play well tonight [Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers], I personally believe Jerry Jones makes the change and under those circumstances, who knows what happens.”

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